Montreal — From Thursday's Globe and Mail Published on Thursday, Sep. 16, 2010
The aspiring police officers can pass their physicals and answer the ABCs of taking down a criminal suspect – but can they demonstrate they’re not sexists or bullies?
In a bid to meet the demands for a kinder, more professional police officer, Quebec’s police academy has introduced a psychological test designed to weed out problem candidates before they get a badge and gun.
The test is intended not just to catch “wackos” itching to be in uniform, as one expert said; it’s meant to suss out anyone with the potential for unseemly conduct.
“We want to detect behaviour that’s unprofessional, candidates who might use excessive force, those who show sexist or racist attitudes,” said Pierre Saint-Antoine, a spokesman for the École nationale de police in Nicolet, Que.
All major Canadian police forces use some kind of psychological screening for cadets. In Quebec, where would-be officers attend training school before they can get hired, the new testing goes further by statistically predicting the likelihood of trouble down the road, according to the police academy.
“ We’re not just looking for people with high IQs, but people with a capacity for emotional intelligence, which is the heavy tendency nowadays in police services. ”— Jean-Guy Gagnon, deputy chief of the Montreal police
This year, applicants to the academy sat down to respond to 455 statements: The public shouldn’t know too much about a police officer’s private life. It’s wrong to lie to a suspect, even when it doesn’t violate any rules. I never drive over the speed limit.
Their answers were designed to predict the likelihood of anything from poor interpersonal skills to the potential for excessive force. Another test, also introduced this year, evaluated their judgment under stress. All told, about 40 candidates flunked, out of 870 applicants, and were rejected.
The police academy brought in the evaluations after complaints from Quebec police forces that, even after 15 weeks in the academy and three years of college-level police technology courses that are mandatory in Quebec, some young graduates had troublesome traits that no amount of training would change.
The tests reflect a challenge for law-enforcement agencies as they look for ways to evaluate recruits on more than brawn and good grades, experts say.
“You can have a very bright wacko who can run 8k in nothing flat – but there’s no assessment of his suitability [to become an officer],” said Jim Anderson, a former police officer and chairman of the police technology program at John Abbott College near Montreal. “So this is a really good step, and it’s high time.”
The psychological test at Nicolet, known as M-Pulse, is being used by 800 police forces in the United States and tested by several police departments in Canada. The Ontario Provincial Police are evaluating it.
It comes as Canadian police forces face growing pressure to respond to ethnic diversity, and adopt a less brass-knuckles approach to policing.
“We’re not just looking for people with high IQs, but people with a capacity for emotional intelligence, which is the heavy tendency nowadays in police services,” said Jean-Guy Gagnon, deputy chief of the Montreal police. (A new chief, Marc Parent, was sworn in on Monday.)
Dorothy Cotton, a correctional psychologist in Kingston, Ont. and expert on police psychology, says the test reflects shifts in police work in Canada.
“When you look at traditional policing, it’s very much an almost paramilitary kind of culture. Police pretty well only spoke to other police, they didn’t really interact with the public,” she said. “The world has changed. Policing and public safety now is much more a community activity.”
The stakes for good psychological evaluations are high, she said, “because at the end of the day, these are guys who carry guns.”
9/18/2010 10:25:08 PM
The Quebec Police are to be commended and congratulated on adopting such
obvious very lacking common sense.
The fact is that such testing was way long overdue and the Quebec Police could have saved a lot of embarrassment many years ago if it had been adopted earlier.
Now, when is Ontario and Quebec going to apply SIMILAR TESTING FOR JUDGES before they are hired and for the judges who presently sit on the bench.
There are several judges in Ontario who show psychopathic tendencies who might just be shown up by such a test.
The "underbelly of the Ontario Judiciary" is made up of a collection of some of the lease suitable and who would most probably show up under testing their true colours.
In Ottawa, the "Worst of the Worst" as he is known, the judge with the worst reputation for a personality disorder and corruption is "the Honourable Mr. Justice Allan Sheffield".
Next on the list of psychopaths is "the Honourable Mr. Justice Denis Power.
For sheer pathological hatred of men, the worst of those has a quite a lot of competition, worth a dishonourable mention is Madam Justice Catherine Aitken, who is known as "the fembox of ottawa".
Down the list you have several judges who apparently were pushed onto the bench by Sheila Copps, and then how could we ignore Madam Justice Lynn D Ratushney who is a classic example of "the process of justification"
Thats a name given to the process that criminals use to justify their actions.
Its also used by psychopaths to justify allmost anything.
adam Justice Lynn D Ratushney promots "Quakery" that is, she will hang her hat on any "profesional" or "Quack" that she think can be used to justify a decision.
It works like this, another judge makes a decision SHE , Ratushney does not like so she ORDERS a report from a "hired gun" a "professional", A QUACK, Ratushney even invents her own, take for example the "Recovered Memory Syndrome"
Madam Justice Lynne Ratushny has the dubious record for having in 1995, asked the then justice minister and solicitor-general to review nearly 100 cases of women convicted of murder or manslaughter before 1990, when the Supreme Court ruled that battered- women syndrome is a legitimate defence. As a result of the review, the federal government granted conditional pardons or early release to four women and referred the case of a fifth woman to an appeal court.
That expression ""Recovered Memory Syndrome" is also known by the experts as a "discredited concept" and thrown out of court as "evidence".
According to Ratushny, dam near every woman in jail in Canada was falsely convicted, such was and is her obvious bias.
Its that kind of bias that got her appointed to the bench in Ontario and what got her PROMOTED to the Superior Court from the Provincial Court.
If ever there was a judge deserving of a psychological check up, its Ratushny.
Watch her name for crazy decisions and appeals etc.